Hearty soups are for cold weather. Being that I live in Southern California, I don’t get too many days that warrant “hearty soups”. Be as it may, I closed the windows, blasted my AC on 65 degrees and decided to go for it. Besides, I have been meaning to use my left over ham bone from the last time we had Honey Baked Ham. I left a lot of meat on the bone for this specific dish. So here goes……
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 celery stalks (diced)
3 carrots (shredded)
1 onion (diced)
3 cloves of garlic (recommend garlic press be used)
2 cups dried green split peas
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
crushed red pepper flakes (desired amount)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
9 cups water
2 lb ham bone
In a large pot (or dutch oven) heat the olive oil over medium heat and add in the carrots, onion, garlic and celery, until softened and the onions are translucent. (stirring occasionally)
Add in the split peas and the rest of the spices, stirring for a few minutes.
Finally, add in the ham bone and 9 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to LOW and let simmer for about 2 hours. You will know it is done once the peas are mushy.
Remove the ham bone from the soup and let cool on the cutting board, for a few minutes, until it is warm to the touch. Remove all the meat from the bone, dice it and add it back into the soup.
*Optional: you can add a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar to top the soup, if you like a little twist*